This book is such a pleasure it prompts the question: Can we have an uncle book next? (Board book. 1-3)

AUNTIE AND ME

From the Karen Katz's Lift-the-Flap Books series

There are plenty of books about the love that mommy, dad, grandma, and/or grandpa feel for a child, but good luck finding a book about the special bond between a child and an aunt. This board book meets that need.

On each bright, cheery spread an aunt is shown playing with a niece or nephew. Two of the children present female; two present male. The last two scenes feature the same infant in a pink onesie. There are no mixed-race duos; each pair has similar skin tones, hair color and texture, etc. But in each case, the delight Auntie and toddler take in each other’s company is clear. On the first page a little girl practically leaps to open the lift-the-flap door on the opposite page because, “It’s Auntie!” This pattern of a question with the answer revealed behind an easily manipulated flap is repeated for every spread. One tot asks, “What’s in your purse, Auntie?” (a toy dinosaur). Another pair is playing hide-and-seek. Excursions to a fancy restaurant and the zoo are featured in the next two scenes. The final scene—of Auntie and child reading together—ends with “A big Auntie hug and kiss!” Katz’s bold, patterned illustrations, straightforward text printed in a clean type, oversized flaps, and a diverse cast of characters make this a fine choice for celebrating this special relationship.

This book is such a pleasure it prompts the question: Can we have an uncle book next? (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2923-9

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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As warm as a hug from Grandma.

I LOVE YOU, GRANDMA

Grandma is the star in dozens of picture books for older children, but seldom is the special bond between a toddler and their grandmother portrayed in a book for very young children.

This sweet, but not saccharine, board book fills that gap. Thankfully, this grandma does not have Alzheimer’s and is not dying. She simply delights in spending time with her cherished grandchild. The narrator, a charming bear cub, is not identified as male or female, which makes it easy for both girls and boys to insert themselves in the story. Each of the six rhyming couplets is spread across double-page spreads: “I love the fun we have each day, / And all the funny things you say.” Even in its small board-book trim size, there is still plenty of room for the winsome watercolors to highlight the familiar yet memorable rituals of a day spent with a loving and patient grandma. Note: “Rory Tyger” is the collective pseudonym for the British artistic team of Richard Greaves, Tracey Simmons, and Gabrielle Murphy. Their illustrations were originally used in Good Night, Sleep Tight by Claire Freedman (2003). In that story, the little bear is resisting bedtime. This reworking is a gentle and conflict-free ode to the special love between little bear and a doting grandma.

As warm as a hug from Grandma. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68010-524-7

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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